Travel Grants

The Graduate School is pleased to offer graduate student Travel Grants to assist terminal degree-seeking students with travel to conferences to make presentations on behalf of the University. Qualified students may receive up to two travel grants during their tenure in the Graduate School.

Award Amounts

Graduate School sponsored Travel Grants range up to $500 for domestic travel and up to $800 for international travel. Students may apply for additional funding through home departments, university awards, and national fellowships.

Award Cycles

Applications for Travel Grants are accepted in four cycles per year. The application portal will remain open for one week each cycle.

Travel Dates Applications Accepted/Portal Open
CYCLE 1: July 1, 2019 – September 30, 2019 June 1-7, 2019
CYCLE 2: October 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 September 1-7, 2019
CYCLE 3: January 1, 2020 - March 31, 2020 December 1-7, 2019
CYCLE 4: April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020 March 1-7, 2020

Note: students must apply and be approved for funding in advance of the start date of travel. If your project includes travel outside of the United States, you will also be required to follow the guidelines for international travel.


  • Students must be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking doctoral or MFA program when they apply and when they travel.
  • Students must present a paper/poster/creative work at a conference/meeting of national or international standing. Travel Grants cannot be used to support field or library research, working conferences, courses, retreats, workshops or simple attendance at a professional meeting.
  • Students must be first or sole author of work and provide a PDF copy of their acceptance notification. If the conference acceptance notification isn’t received before the application deadline, attach a note in that field indicating it will be sent to Robert Sutherland when received.
  • Applications for travel already started or completed will not be funded by a Travel Grant.
  • Applications received with a departmental match are preferred.
  • Students may receive no more than one Travel Grant in any fiscal year (July 1 - June 30)

Application Process

The applicant must complete the application prior to traveling. Students traveling abroad (this includes Canada and Mexico) will also be required to follow the guidelines for international travel. Formal notification of acceptance to present at the conference must be included in the application.

  1. The applicant must complete and submit online the Conference Travel Grant Request Form by using the Graduate Management System (GMS) for students.
  2. Academic advisors will receive a copy of the request via email and will then review the request and provide electronic confirmation of their student’s standing and progress to degree.
  3. Once the academic advisor reviews and signs off the materials, the Graduate Director will receive notification to approve the travel request by logging into GMS.
  4. The Graduate Director confirms all information (including the program or departmental financial support for your travel) in the pledge box provided.
  5. Once approved by the Graduate Director, the Graduate School begins its review process.
  6. Only complete applications can be reviewed. Students can check the status of their application by logging into GMS. The student applicant is responsible for following up with the advisor and Graduate Director regarding travel grant requests.
  7. The Graduate School reserves the right to require additional documentation to complete the review of a student’s Travel Grant request.

Award Recipients:

  1. Once students receive their award notification letter from the Graduate School, they should complete the Travel Authorization (TA) form with the assistance of their department/academic unit’s Program Administrator or Business Manager. The total TA amount should include a separate line for the grant awarded by the Graduate School plus all support provided by the student’s department or supervisor. The Program Administrator or Business Manager can obtain the Graduate School account information by contacting Robert Sutherland at
  2. When the TA is completed and signed, the department/academic unit will send it to Robert Sutherland at the Graduate School for him to sign and forward to the Travel Office. The Graduate School will send a copy of the signed TA to the department/academic unit.
  3. Within 30 days after travel is complete, a Travel Reimbursement Voucher (TRV) request, including all required documentation, must be submitted by the student through the department/academic unit’s Program Administrator or Business Manager to USC’s Travel Office.